I don’t know about you, but so many people around me are sick, and I find myself giving unsolicited advice all the time. I just can’t help it. Since you are yogi, I think you will want to hear about it, though. Here is some insight into the particular ways to care for your immune system in the winter, yogi style, following Ayurveda’s recommendations.
Sleep more and sleep better:
- Sleep more in the winter to build ojas (the by-product of good digestion and creator of immunity). Align your sleep habits with the rhythms of the day. There’s a reason nights are longer in the winter.
- Wind down early. Dim the lights, put away electronics, and use essential oils (lavender or frankincense) or sip Nighty Night tea or the herb ashwagandha with hot water to help you prepare for a good night’s sleep.
- Decrease your stress level. Get real about what you can actually get done in a day and be content with that so that you don’t lie awake at night worrying about what you didn’t accomplish.
- Don’t burn the candle at both ends in winter. Get to bed early and wake early or you’ll set yourself up for a depleted immune system and autoimmune issues.
Eat early to wind down early:
- Have a Chivanprash latte! (Ask me what this is if you are interested in a caffeine free alternative to your chai latte).
- Eat soup at night. It’s hydrating and easier to digest.
Live Well Lubed:
- A well-lubed body helps your lymph filter germs. Dry skin invites germs to take over.
- Practice self massage. Find out your body type and get a good oil.
- Oil your nostrils and your ears.
During the day :
- Hydrate with warm water. Carry a thermos. Sip hot water every 20 minutes. Take hydration very, very seriously.
- Keep your house cool and dress warm.
- Take warm and cold showers. It works.
- Take ashwagandha. It’s a winter herb – an adaptogen. Drink it with warm water at night or add it to your morning smoothie (make sure your smoothie is warm!).
- Eat beets. My favorite winter smoothie is grapefruit, beets, celery, pear and ginger with a few beet greens at room temperature. Thin your bile. Heavy food is everywhere in winter. And beets help you poop!
- Poop every morning. When you’re constipated your lymph shuts down and you become susceptible to germs. Do you think you have no control over that? You are in for a treat when you start your Ayurveda lifestyle.
- Integrate yoga into your daily routine. Yes! Once a week is great, but nothing beats a daily practice to receive the true benefits. To get inspired find out where your local class takes place. We have around 20 yoga classes a week at Akasha Yoga Centre.
Those are a few things you can start working on. Don’t try to change all at once. Identify what’s the easiest and consistently making it into a habit. Then choose the next… Reflect and feel the difference after only a week.
I know all this feels ‘easier said than done’. If you are interested in finding out more about what the ancient science of Ayurveda can do for you and how it can be adapted to your own life, At Akasha Yoga Centre I offer Ayurveda consultations, health coaching programmes and I also facilitate and online Yoga Health community. If you are curious about how Ayurveda can help you improve your health and vitality, email me to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a 20 minute free conversation.
Namaste, happy, healthy winter!